Health and disease are not strictly biological phenomena. Health research must be developed in a manner that is culturally appropriate and relevant in order to address public health concerns in economically disadvantaged communities and communities where health disparities persist. To this end, there is a need to expand research efforts and scientific training of individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences; and to fill the professional and intellectual void brought on by their relativ under representation in research careers. Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) faculty members and their partners have demonstrated commitment and success in working to fill these voids. Since the inception of this MHIRT program in 1994 (renamed HSPH- MHIRT in 2011 when the Program Director moved to Harvard), 187 students (145 undergraduate and 42 graduate students) from over 40 U.S. Universities have received research training while working on collaborative research projects with investigators in countries including Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, the Republic of Georgia, Vietnam, Australia, Chile, and Thailand. All trainees (1995-2012 fellows) earned degrees that they were working towards at the time of fellowship. To date, HSPH-MHIRT trainees have gone on to earn 45 MD, 18 PhD, and 53 Master's degrees, respectively. Trainees currently in advanced degree programs are as follows: 25 MD, 11 PhD, and 15 Master's. We are proud to report that in the relatively short 19-year span of the HSPH-MHIRT Program, 13 of our trainees are themselves now faculty members in U.S. academic-research institutions. HSPH-MHIRT trainees have presented some 165 papers at national/international conferences; and they have published 89 papers in peer-reviewed research journals. The primary aim of this competing renewal MHIRT application is to continue to encourage students underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to pursue research and public health leadership careers.
We aim to select 8 undergraduate and 2 graduate/professional degree students into the program annually. We are here proposing to continue providing exciting, high-quality research training opportunities for fellows at well-established foreign research training sites in Ethiopia, Chile, Peru, Thailand, New Zealand, India and Malaysia. Over 41 faculty members in biomedical and behavioral sciences are available to serve as mentors. We will continue with a primary focus on developing innovative and relevant collaborative research and research training activities with institutions in low and middle-income countries (LIMCs). We will continue to train students from health disparities populations. We also expect to continue to participate in capacity building activities share our talents and resources with collaborators in these countries who share in the task of training our fellows. By so doing, HSPH-MHIRT faculty and fellows will continue to contribute to addressing global health disparities.

Public Health Relevance

This is a competing renewal of the Harvard School of Public Health Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (HSPH MHIRT) Program. The research training program is designed to encourage students underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to pursue research and public health leadership careers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Minority International Research Training Grants (FIC) (T37)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
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Berzon, Richard
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Harvard University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
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